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  1. #1
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    Ride Report -- O'Leary Trail Loop (an IMBA Epic)

    A trip report from our ride on the Ollalie/O'Leary/King Castle Loop. Such an amazing adventure ride!

    Wheels & Water: O'Leary Trail Loop (OR) - IMBA Epic +

    -Nate
    Wheels & Water: Biking

  2. #2
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    Nate, it sounds like you bypassed a short segment of O'Leary. The gravel section below the old CCC walls parallels the trail, you should only need to ride approx 100 yards of gravel at the lower road crossing. It is a short but fun section.
    I love mankind - it's people I can't stand. ~Charles M. Schulz

  3. #3
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    That loop is a man ride.... and another great write up Nate!

  4. #4
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    USFS has announced completion of the conversion of the trail for mountain biking:
    O’Leary Loop Trail Restored – McKenzie River Ranger District

    As far as I know there's still extension work to be done on the bottom of Kings-Castle?
    Last edited by tbmaddux; 09-21-2016 at 09:39 AM. Reason: updated link because the go.usa.gov URL redirect service is slow

  5. #5
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    Nice link, but painful to read making it more accessible for a wider range of riders. Oregon is full of easy trails and this area should not encourage driving to avoid the work. Pussification, ugh...the best part of riding is the effort required.
    Master of Laundry...Lord of Cleaning!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by poppa#1 View Post
    Nice link, but painful to read making it more accessible for a wider range of riders. Oregon is full of easy trails and this area should not encourage driving to avoid the work. Pussification, ugh...the best part of riding is the effort required.
    Tough topic. My two cents, which some or many will disagree with, is that the trail changes were mostly dictated by a need to keep them sustainable (lower grades), as more people find this absolute gem of a ride.

    And sadly, commercial shuttles that eliminate the very stout initial climb proliferate.

    Great writeup, Nat. I'll be checking it out next Thursday or Friday!
    Whining is not a strategy.

  7. #7
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    Anyone that rode this trail prior to 2010 knows that back then, in a bunch of places, it was nearly impossible to navigate with a bike. The treadwork done on the upper reaches of the trail and its increased use has only made those ridge line sections better.

    The lower parts of the trail where it descends to the reservoir where fun in their old configuration, but would have fast been destroyed when and if people start riding the trail in any significant numbers.

    The trail needs wheels on it and the reroutes down low will help make that happen. Less than ten years ago much of this trail was pretty close to being a bike bushwhack.

    Not posting up about awesome raw trails is the best way to preserve them in that condition. The catch is that a trail like O'Leary barely existed before it gained some notoriety. If you ride that sucker as a loop its still far from a cakewalk.
    Last edited by bb12creek; 09-21-2016 at 12:38 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bb12creek View Post
    The catch is that a trail like O'Leary barely existed before i gained some notoriety.
    Who is this Notorious bb12?

    haha, funny typo.

  9. #9
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    Damnit! Good catch. A few more typos like that and I WILL be notorious, in a bad way.

  10. #10
    CrgCrkRyder
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    Great ride report and pics - Thanks!

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the ride report. Looks like a beautiful, challenging, rewarding ride. Just my kind of epic. Is it rideable later in the fall?
    Thanksgiving perhaps?


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  12. #12
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    Rode this today.

    The re-route was outstanding. Insane work that has gone into that. Unbelievable really.

    amazing exposure for a long portion of the trail.

    Nice work DOD and USFS

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sketchbook View Post
    Nice work DOD and USFS
    Major props to Dirt Mechanics, who did a ton of work on O'Leary AND Castle Rock trails. (And a bunch of other trail systems around the state). Dirt Mechanics recreational excavation based in Bend, OR

    First rode O'Leary around 1994....so rough and steep in spots, it only took me about 20 years to want to try it again. And it is freakin' awesome! Shuttled it Sunday, and with a side trip up to Horsepasture Mtn., it was still 3,500 feet of climbing. https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1379060386

  14. #14
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    Thanks Albee. I wasn't sure who all was involved. Dirt Mechanics has been killing it.

    Is horse pasture mountain a good ride? Guessing hike a bike no?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sketchbook View Post
    Is horse pasture mountain a good ride? Guessing hike a bike no?
    Horsepasture is, ironically, the kind of trail that poppa#1 bemoaned losing to sanitization. (not slamming him; I see his point, but respectfully disagree). It's only a little more than a mile. First part is pretty sweet; plenty of overgrown hike-a-bike after that, and it is painful getting to the top, but the incredible view from the top makes it worth the pain. Damn fun ride back down, too!

    When I was on a shuttle with one of the FS crew in that area recently, I asked him about giving that section some love, and he said all the monies allocated were strictly for O'Leary (and the section of Ollalie leading to it). But on Sunday, when I got back down to the Olallie junction, I rode the opposite direction from O'Leary, and that had been worked over, too....best shape I'd even seen it! Only went about a mile, though, and gave in to my buddy who wanted to turn around and start O'Leary. That whole network is rockin'!

  16. #16
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    Just for Schlitz and giggles, here's my Garmin track for my Sunday ride: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1379060386

  17. #17
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    Based on a quick search, it looks like MTBR forum posters had a big role in the revival of this trail.

    This 2009 post from MaxSteel looks like a group ride report. The links to photos still work. You can see the inspiration of the restoration effort in the replies. At this point it looks like DoD and Cog Wild, with Cog Wild bringing in COTA. Bittersweet to see the late Roland Vilett mentioned. MaxSteel is still out killing it in trail work on a regular basis.

    Here is the first day of effort on reopening the trail. They have got the USFS on board. I like this quote: "If we can clear the entire trail, damn, watch out, Central Oregon has a new must do ride!"

    They had it cleared by the following year (2010). My favorite quote: "one hell of a fun ride to Harbick's for chocolate milk and chicken on a stick". You can see that they know they have more work to do.

    From there it's more build days and riding and eventually it got on the IMBA Epic radar and now here we are.

    I still haven't ridden it. Maybe next year? Looks like the rain is coming...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbmaddux View Post
    Based on a quick search, it looks like MTBR forum posters had a big role in the revival of this trail.

    This 2009 post from MaxSteel looks like a group ride report. The links to photos still work. You can see the inspiration of the restoration effort in the replies. At this point it looks like DoD and Cog Wild, with Cog Wild bringing in COTA. Bittersweet to see the late Roland Vilett mentioned. MaxSteel is still out killing it in trail work on a regular basis.

    Here is the first day of effort on reopening the trail. They have got the USFS on board. I like this quote: "If we can clear the entire trail, damn, watch out, Central Oregon has a new must do ride!"

    They had it cleared by the following year (2010). My favorite quote: "one hell of a fun ride to Harbick's for chocolate milk and chicken on a stick". You can see that they know they have more work to do.

    From there it's more build days and riding and eventually it got on the IMBA Epic radar and now here we are.

    I still haven't ridden it. Maybe next year? Looks like the rain is coming...
    great work digging up all this info. Great to see the teamwork and how this trail was brought back to life. Guessing a lot of OROR trails were in this same position back in the day.

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